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10 online retailers going from clicks to bricks

A guest attends the opening of Athleta's NYC Flagship Store, November 19, 2013 in New York City.

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From clicks to bricks

It's traditional retail lore—a company opens a store, expands its footprint to the Web and then works to integrate its online and in-store sales.

But for some retailers, the opposite approach is more enticing.

Despite the shift toward online shopping, a number of brands have turned the tables, first developing their virtual presence, and later moving into the physical space.

Amazon added its name to the fray on Thursday, when reports surfaced that the online pure-play will open a physical location in Manhattan. Details as to the exact function of the location, specifically whether it would be used as a distribution center or a store, were unclear. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company has made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.

"The focus is on e-commerce because that's a growing segment, but it doesn't mean that traditional physical bricks-and-mortar stores are going away anytime soon," said Giovanni DeMeo, vice president of global marketing and analytics for Interactions Marketing.

Instead, retailers are finding a way to marry the two concepts, leading many pure-play online retailers to experiment with—and often times grow—their offline presence.

General Growth Properties' CEO Sandeep Mathrani said that although online is the incubator, many brands have realized that to build volume and scale, they need to have multiple channels of distribution.

"They recognize the fact that malls bring them opportunity to expose their brands," said Alan Barocas, General Growth Properties' executive vice president of leasing.

Click through to see a list of retailers who have bucked the trend, and gone from clicks to bricks.

—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson
Posted 11 April 2014

UPDATE: This story was updated 10 Oct. 2014

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